Jan. 3, 2017
Despite cash crunch due to demonetisation exercise, sales of major fertilisers including urea, di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), muriate of potash (MoP) and complex NPK fertilisers in November touched a four-year high.
According to a senior government official, who requested anonymity, sales of major fertilisers in November was about 4.981 million tonnes (MT), about 9.3% more than 4.557 MT in the same month last year.
“As per the feedback from the companies and the state governments, there has been no difficulty reported by the farmers in getting fertilisers through various modes of financial transactions,” said the official quoted above.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government on 8 November had announced that old Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes will seize to be legal tender.
In the backdrop of demonetisation, various initiatives were taken by the Department of Fertilisers for smooth delivery of crop nutrients to farmers. To ensure that sales of fertilisers were not hampered, fertiliser firms and importers were directed to provide crop nutrients to dealers, wholesalers and retailers on credit. Credit limit was extended by additional 30 days by the companies.
Another government official, requesting anonymity said that during November about 1581 rakes of fertilisers were loaded, as against 1457 rakes in November 2015, which helped in ensuring adequate availability of fertilisers across the country.
“Against the urea requirement of 3.250 MT during November, the availability was 4.927 MT. Also, against DAP requirement of 1.267 MT, the availability was 2.271 MT,” the official quoted above added.
A third government official said there was close coordination between companies, state governments, ministry of railways and ministry of shipping to ensure that there was adequate availability of fertilisers in every nook and corner of the country.
InfraCircle on 21 November reported about the ministry asking all fertiliser manufacturers to make crop nutrients available to farmers during the ongoing rabi season, taking cognisance of complaints that farmers were unable to get fertilisers due to non-availability of cash.
Also, the government made it clear that all modes of payment such as sale on credit, credit card, debit card and through cheques should be allowed to purchase fertilisers.
Queries emailed to ministries of chemical and fertilisers, shipping, and railways on 29 December remained unanswered.
India’s fertiliser demand for the kharif season had remained subdued despite the country receiving near-normal monsoon after two successive years of drought. The primary reason behind low demand was low purchasing power of farmers.